Wireless signal drop-out?


Userlevel 2
After about 45 mins listening to streamed music from my NAS, the music suddenly cut-out and the controller 200 froze. When it re-awoke, both zoneplayers were not listed and would not reconnect when I tried to add them again. Unplugged zonebridge and restarted it, again connection to zoneplayers would not work.
Changed wireless channel to 6 (from 11) and this temporarily resolved issue (for about 3 mins). Changed back to channel 11, added first zoneplayer ok and then the second zoneplayer reappeared on the controller. Total time trying to reconnect was approx 30 mins.
Does anyone know what problem was and if it will re-occur? Everything now working ok again.

18 replies

dstar,

This is probably a wireless interference issue. Is there a 2.4GHz cordless phone in the area?

Start keeping a written log of events because you may discover an unexpected correlation.
Userlevel 2
I'll check this out. In the meantime, the system has failed again and after working for several hours this morning, now does not recognise the zoneplayers again. Been trying for the last hour and half to get reconnected.
Userlevel 2
I have had this issue and things will be fine for weeks and then it will act up again, Same sequence Dropped Zones, Hung Controllers, change channels and all is well for about 10-15 minutes. Then back to weeks......


Calling the problem "INTERFERRANCE" and throwing out cordless phones is pretty lame. I hope there will be a firmware update sometime that would make sonosnet "bulletproof". If zones and controllers were 1/2 the price then drop outs and the odd freeze wouldnt be so bad.

but............................




dstar,

This is probably a wireless interference issue. Is there a 2.4GHz cordless phone in the area?

Start keeping a written log of events because you may discover an unexpected correlation.
Calling the problem "INTERFERRANCE" and throwing out cordless phones is pretty lame.
Not if you understand what the unlicensed ISM bands are all about. The laws of physics are immutable. Anything in the 2.4GHz band which is poorly behaved with cause interference for other users, be they Sonos, WiFi or whatever. Microwave ovens operate in the same band and can cause similar difficulties.
... throwing out cordless phones is pretty lame. I hope there will be a firmware update sometime that would make sonosnet "bulletproof".


This is not a firmware issue. Some cordless phones are such bad neighbors that one has only two choices -- throw out the phone or throw out anything else that attempts to use the 2.4GHz band.

In the discussion at hand, we do not know the origin of the interference. I am simply suggesting a possibility.
Badge
2.4 ghz phones are bad.. the new 5 ghz phones are cheap.. keep in mind that even if the phone is not in use it can be still broadcasting to keep it's connection to the base station. I'd suggest waiting for it to happen then call Sonos support and give them a diagnostic, that ought to help locate the problem.
Userlevel 2
I did / do have the same problems and I did not find the the source for interference, by means of inssider (a freeware tool) I can see up to 15 wifi networks in the neighbourhood, most of them are rather weak.

Sonos support could not help me solving the problem, however I learned a lot about the system reading the forum. My personal workaround was:

a) I cannot use channel 1 neither for sonosnet nor for my wifi because of interference
b) putting aluminium foil under the ZPs
c) changing the root bridge (you can find threads explaining this...)
d) taking care of enough distance to my 2.4 GHz phone
e) wiring my zoneplayers. But the latter does not prevent you from interference problems because at least one of the ZPs is listening for controller commands. It is not possible to turn off sonosnet.

Otherwise I agree with the former answers. Sonos underlies the laws of physics, there are a lot of technical devices being able to cause interference, especially in the environment of densely populated areas such as Germany where I am living. My problems occured after moving. But in the meantime dropouts and loose of ZPs are rare events.

Good luck
Userlevel 2
Thanks for all help. It looks like a microwave oven against the adjoining wall in the next room was the problem. Have moved sonos further away and it is working ok so far.
It looks like a microwave oven against the adjoining wall in the next room was the problem. Have moved sonos further away and it is working ok so far.
The oven may be going bad. Microwave ovens can start to emit more stray radiation over time.

I have a ZP80 which used to be fine a couple of feet away from a microwave. Then one day it started acting up when the oven was used, usually after a minute or so or cooking. Moreover the oven didn't seem to heat as well as it should.

Analysis of the ZP logs from all over the house showed that after a minute of use the oven got bored of cooking the food and started cooking the chef.

Replaced the oven and (a) the nearby ZP80 was happy again and (b) the food got hot. 😃
Userlevel 2
I have something similar happening to me.

I have had my system for a couple of years though have added to the original bundle over time, but nothing added in the past few months.

Last week all my controllers (CR100, 2x iPhones and 1 x iPod Touch) decided they were not going to "see" the system.

I rebooted everything (including Router) to no avail and finally switched everything off for half an hour before rebooting the lot again.

Worked for a day, now today the iPhones and Touch can't see the system anymore but the CR100 can.

What the feck is going on??? Is there a bug in the iPhone app? I thought at first it might have been the update to OS4 that I did for the iPhones but the Touch hasn't had the upgrade and it doesn't work either so it can't be the iPhone OS.

Anyone anything similar happening?
Tricky Dickie,

Make sure that the iPhone and iTouch are using your network, not the neighbor's network.
Assuming any local activity has been eliminated as an obvious cause - such as use of the microwave, cordless phones, baby alarms, etc. - then it would be worth checking that (a) the router hasn't opted to auto-select a WiFi channel which clashes and (b) that a neighbour hasn't started using different WiFi channels. Tools like MetaGeek inSSIDer or NirSoft WirelessNetView can be useful, though if a neighbour has just acquired an N router and it's using 40MHz channels these tools won't currently show it.
Userlevel 2
Thanks guys.

I've checked the iPhones/Touch and they are definitely connecting to my Wifi.

All my neighbours use encryption (as do I) so not much chance of logging onto the wrong network.

I've reset the controllers in the iPhones/Touch app settings a couple of times each and they have both now re-connected for now, though I lost one of the iPhones again and had to repeat this to get it back on talking terms.

I'll try changing the Wifi channel and see how I get on.

If anyone has any further advice, please let me know.

Ta very muchly.
I've reset the controllers in the iPhones/Touch app settings a couple of times each and they have both now re-connected for now, though I lost one of the iPhones again and had to repeat this to get it back on talking terms.
Resetting the controller and re-associating with the system are IMHO a waste of time. The iCR doesn't forget its household ID. The problem most probably lies at a lower level in the networking stack: at the physical layer (RF interference), link layer (WLAN->LAN problems in the router), or network layer (IP address issues). Have you changed anything on the network, such as adding additional stations?
Userlevel 2
The Network is identical - Nothing has been added or taken away.

Everything else is connecting as normal as it always has.

PC, Laptop, NAS Drive, etc are all accessable over the Wifi and Wired sections of my network - even the normal wifi connectivity for the iPhones and the iTouch is fine.

The iPhones and Touch are down again now and the PC controller on the Laptop is also failing to connect to the SONOS.

The CR100 is still connecting fine though!

Arrrrrgghhhh!!!!!!
the normal wifi connectivity for the iPhones and the iTouch is fine.

The iPhones and Touch are down again now and the PC controller on the Laptop is also failing to connect to the SONOS.

The CR100 is still connecting fine though!

So the problem arises when both SonosNet and WiFi are in demand? Did you check on the channel usage of your Sonos vs your WiFi vs your neighbours' WiFi?
Userlevel 2
Thanks again for advice so far.

I've downloaded and run inSSIDer and there are a number of other Wifi Networks around (more that had previously shown up in Windows).

Both the SONOS and my Wifi Network were on Channel 1. I've moved my Wifi Network to channel 11 at about 10.25pm.

My nearest neighbour (and the strongest Wifi signals) is on Channel 5 and 6 - he appears to have 2 broadcast signals.

So my SONOS and Wifi are now seperated and also not on the same channels as next door. There is some traffic from other nearby networks but the signals are much weaker.

The CR100 is still working fine though the iPhones/iTouch haven't worked from the time of the last post despite trying them every few minutes. (Scratch that - they have just come alive as I have been typing this - 10.45pm).

Just fired up the Desktop Controller and that seems to be working too.

Right, nobody move - nobody even breathe - everybody stay perfectly still so as not to disturb any molecules until I try it again tomorrow night!!!
Both the SONOS and my Wifi Network were on Channel 1. I've moved my Wifi Network to channel 11 at about 10.25pm.

My nearest neighbour (and the strongest Wifi signals) is on Channel 5 and 6 - he appears to have 2 broadcast signals.

Under those circumstances, for the sake of Sonos - and assuming all other neighbouring channels are weak - it would be better to have Sonos on 11 and your WiFi on 1. A strong neighbour on 5 will still cause noise/interference onto channel 1. The Wireless G and Sonos channels are in fact 4+ channels wide, so someone on 5 in fact occupies 3-7, and Sonos centred on 1 would occupy 1-3 (and the space below 1). This diagram illustrates rather better than words can convey....

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